Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pulling the pieces together

Back again!

Sorry about the lack of blogs lately, but our internet was almost non-existent for a little while.  

Here is a picture I've wanted to post for a while.  This young man was brought to the clinic almost 2 years ago as a young lad of 13 y.o. with two badly broken legs.  (Some of you may remember reading about him.  His name is Ernest.)  We sent him out to a hospital that does well with bone fractures, and now he returned to the mountains and came to see us.  He walks very well, and you'd hardly know he was hurt so bad.  I clearly remember his mother didn't want him to go to town for care but wanted to take him to a "leaf" doctor.  To her I think the city and big doctors seemed scary, but for Ernest getting proper care means he can now walk and live a normal life.  


Ernest with his sister and her baby


His right knee  You can see the big scar 



Not exactly clinic, but this was taken at a recent girls' class when we celebrated Joatase's birthday.  I've been happy lately to see some more girls interested in coming and studying the Bible with us.  Also we're facing some struggles with a few of the girls.  Pray for wisdom to know how to encourage them.  

Hospital patient

Since last Fri, elderly lady has been in our hospital.  Her husband, family, and friends take very good care of her.  She has hypertension and diabetes.  We are getting her blood pressure under control, but her sugar is rather stubborn.  I'm hoping to send her home tomorrow.  It's been a pleasure serving her!  


Pepe and his wife

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cholera Case

Yesterday afternoon we had an older gentleman come in that had cholera. Glenden and Katie rushed him up to Basis hospital. Katie had started an IV on him.
We are hoping they're going to give him the care he needs cause there's as little to know good help at that hospital.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Baby's baby's and O wait.....yes! one more baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!

   To me personally it seems as if there's little else happening the last month at the clinic after hours and during the night except for babies being born. We haven't counted them yet but I think it's around 3 or 4 a week. I'm not sure if it ever gets old to the nurses, but maybe just maybe behind the scenes they are competing on who delivers the cutest one!!!!!!!!!

   Rhoda and Katie delivered one on Saturday afternoon, it was a bit scary for them, according to the papers the mom brought in it was around one month overdue, and it's cord was wrapped around her neck twice. But in the end all went well and it's alive and happy.

   Anita and Whitney delivered one on Sunday afternoon. The mom came in and it seemed as if things are progressing slowly and they weren't sure if they should go to the orphanage for our weekly get away, but just a bit before everyone left they baby was born.

Rhoda and Katie after a tough delivery. 
Whitney and Anita's turn.
O so cute.....

Friday, August 16, 2013

Reaching hands, pleading eyes, needy little hearts...

... distended  tummies, brittle hair, skin lesions and infections, flaccid extremities...all the tell tale signs and symptoms of Protein/Energy Malnutrition. Sadly, these have been all too common at the clinic the last few months as I try to divide up our limited amount of protein powder to the worst cases. My heart aches as I hold weak little bodies in my arms, listen to their tiny cries, and look into the saddest little faces.

 But how they LOVE our Herbalife protein powder! When I can't get them to smile I run for a box and, almost without fail, those desperately sad expressions turn into beautiful smiles. Tiny arms reach desperately for a bag almost as if their life depends on it. Sadly, often it DOES depend on it. That, and a responsible caretaker.

  I breathed a prayer for patience this week as an irresponsible father sauntered into the consultation room with his tiny 2 year old. He missed 2 appointments. She lost 2 of the kilos she had gained. Tears ran down her tiny cheeks and dripped off her chin; her cries sounded like a weak, little kitten. I quickly mixed up a bag of protein powder and before I even handed it to her she grabbed for it, literally dumping it into her mouth and gulping it down before reaching up with an empty cup and pleading for more.

 But not all the little faces STAY sad. Not all the little bellies stay engorged. I thank God as I watch weak little limbs gain strength and stamina and as I see a happy light turn on in the eyes that looked so hopeless before. We can't help them all, but with a whole lot of LOVE and a little Herbalife we can help some. And so we keep weighing babies, dosing meds, and praying for more Herbalife protein powder!!


A sweet little fellow with a heart problem.

A terrible skin condition-getting better!
                                           
A tiny 1 yr. old.

   I would like to add my thoughts and observations to this post. First of all, Katie really put into good words what we all know and see on a continual daily bases. I have seen the pleading eyes turn into healthy thankful ones. I have seen dying, floppy limbs turn strong. It is quite amazing how Herbalife has helped lift those children out of the deaths grip. Often times we don't know where to turn because we never have enough of it each month, saying we can't help a lot of children. 
   God knows our needs but we wanted to share this tiny peep into those little saddened eyes, and let you know what can help give them hope. Jon

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blessings Blessings Blessings and More Blessings................................

Steve and Shana went to Port this week and were shopping around for this months supply of milk, what a blessing when they found out that the price of the milk had gone down quite a bit, so with the same amount of money they were able to buy more formula and milk powder. God knows what we need. Just thought I'd share this blessing with you.

   

 Check out our nourishing the needy blog for a look at all the babies currently on the milk program full time, also check out the newest addition next Tuesday.
 For any other information or to browse the website and see where you can help and support the Gospel to Haiti Mission go to www.gospeltohaiti.net. 
 If you are interested or know someone who God is calling to a foreign field check out the personnel blog, you will see the open positions and positions that will be open early next year. God bless you as you seek His perfect will for you life.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Well, It's Wednesday-And Wednesday Went Well

    Our morning was off to a good start. Fre Daniel remembered each of the worker's names,except his Wife's, as he prayed before we started. And he even chose the nice song " Precious Lord, Take My Hand" with all the waiting patients.
    I caught myself teasing Nores for getting here when clinic was about done, and he said, "I prayed for you!" He had been at a morning church service.
     Batel, our man with the hip wound, came in this morning with a little scrape on his lower leg.He had fallen on the rocks on Monday. I was just finishing up his deep hip wound, which seems to be progressing well, when Mis Anita walked in.
    "Oh, Mis Anita," Batel exclaimed. And then he burst into tears and would hardly talk for a little.
    "What is wrong?" I asked him, as he tried to tell Mis Anita what he was feeling.
    "I cause too much trouble," he said. "I come so often, and make all the nurses work so much."
    "No, Batel, it is okay," Anita assured him.
    "Sometimes you make me happy in my heart when you sing," I told him. "If God chooses not to make you better, then we are here to help you." I started working on the scrapes on his leg.
   Then Mis Katie walked in. Let's take a picture with him, I said. "I think that would cheer him up." And it did the trick. After we were done, he hugged Mis Katie. Often when Katie is bandaging Batel, they sing, " God can do everything for me." Probably by the next time he will be singing again, with his eyes rolled shut.
Brother Batel, a true picture of Jesus. Truly humble, caring, always smiling, very very dear man. Walking by faith trusting Jesus without a doubt. Walks up to 3 hours for his appointments.


A little while later, Mis Anita asked me to bathe a little 22 day old baby for her. The little dear has a mother who  recently lost her mind. The baby is undernourished, but holding it's own amazingly well, for only weighing 4lb/ 2oz. Since the clinic day was about over, pretty much all the nurses were showing up to give their opinions on what clothing the baby should wear, or exclaim over it's thin, tiny body. Meanwhile, Anita was dosing up a few meds for the baby and requesting some milk to send home with the aunt who brought her in. We will enter this little infant in the milk program now, for weekly milk provisions.

The little malnourished Baby.
He does know how to yell and carry on that's for sure. That is a very good sign and we got him in time. I'm sure in no time he will be a spry little guy. Thanks to all those of you who make it possible to buy milk formula for them.
   
The sisters holding their babies.
 
   We had the fun of baby cousins being in the hospital this morning. The one was born out in town because of complications, and returned to our little clinic for follow up. The other one was born last night, right after nightfall. Today, after Anita removed the stitches from the Cesarean birth, that  family was ready to go home.
     At present, and holding my breath, I dare to say our hospital room is empty...Waiting.................
    But in the meantime, I need to spend my afternoon doing sterilizing or we will have a very bad Wednesday one of these weeks. I'm                                                                                                            off to find Whitney to help me.      
                                                                                                                                               Mis Rhoda
   

Monday, August 12, 2013

From relaxing weekend to stitching!!!!!!!

   We got home from our annual weekend trip last night and after packing up and getting ready for bed we heard quite the ruckus for about 2 minutes, all the while my heart sped up certain that it could mean a short night for some nurses. Sure enough, there was a prolonged sharp rap on the gate. Everyone gathered from their perspective places on the compound to see whats happening, (not eagerly though!!!) What we saw was about 15 to 20 people all blabbering away, I couldn't see that anyone was listening at all, some of them were carrying home made oil lamps, they parted and their on the ground lay a stretcher with a plastic tarp over it. They pulled it off. It was an older gentleman, his head looked horrible to say the least, he had a big gash on the right, upper back side of his head right to the skull, the left side of his face was all bloody and dirty some cuts scattered at a number of places, and also a but on his left arm.
   It sounded as if he was out in an area where there are few houses around on a cliff cutting down fire wood when he slipped and fell backwards, hitting the back side of his head first kept rolling and dragging his head. His family went looking for him when he didn't return and then they couldn't get to him to take him out so they had to bring a rope and lift him out.
   Anita and Katie took on the job and finally finished up around 3 AM this morning.
I see five deep wounds.

Katie is cleaning out all the wounds.
Stitching the back of his head.

Good picture of the operating room.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A little story. . .

     First of all I'll tell you a little story which happened this morning.  We needed to go up the mountain to Granfour (about 10 min drive) to check on something for a patient.  So I hopped on the Gator with Jon.  Of course since the machine was empty otherwise, there were plenty of people asking for rides.  There was this one older lady that I left get on along with one younger lady and her baby.  Off we went.  We crossed the dry river bed and started up the incline when suddenly there was a little racket from the back.  I turned around, and to my horror what I saw was the underside of the Gator's bed.  It had voluntarily unlocked itself and unloaded our passengers onto the ground.  I really can't explain the feeling that went through me.  We quickly stopped and went to check them out.  They were all "ok", but the older lady was pretty banged up and shook up.  The young lady and baby seemed totally unharmed.  I was able to get the older lady to sit down on the side of the road.  Jon jumped on the Gator and took off back to the clinic for some bandages, wound cleanser, pain pills, and pain cream.  As we sat there a small crowd gathered to hear the story and offer their help or thoughts.  One lady had water so offered the shook-up, discarded passengers a drink.  Then she grabbed leaves from the side of the road and crushed them up, rubbing them on the injured areas.  Someone said, "What if it would have been on the very steep hill (Jack Rabbit as we call it)."  There was a gasp, and someone else said, "Don't even say that!"  (If it would have happened then, I hardly think we'd have been talking about minor injuries.  Praise the Lord it happened where it did!)  Jon soon came back.  I bandaged up a few wounds and gave her the pain pills and pain cream.  She was very grateful.  We then proceeded to remount our machine.  This time I told the lady that she should sit in the front, and I jumped in the back with the young lady and her baby--this time with the bed securely locked in place.  We made it without further incident to Granfour.  

Here are just a few shots of various cases we had this week.  

This elderly gentleman was carried in on a stretcher.  He was still very alert and with it, although very dehydrated.  When I asked what he had, he said, "I have weakness, dizziness, and gas, 3 sicknesses." and he repeated them!  He made us chuckle--quite elderly but still perky at heart.  


Here he is with his IV now running and Mis Katie giving him oral re-hydration solution to drink


Feeling rather perky




This is the preemie that I wrote about a little while ago whose mother seemed to be mentally handicapped.  He is gaining fairly well.  In the last two weeks, he gained 12 oz.--now a total of 4 lbs 1 oz.  


 Jevy and Sabrina are the friends from church we hiked to visit a few weeks back.  They are expecting their first baby, and one day this week Sabrina was carried in on a stretcher nearly unconscious.  We started checking vitals.  Her blood pressure was fine, but we found her sugar to be pretty low.  I think her problem was just hypoglycemia.  We gave her glucose tabs and oral re-hydration solution, and she was soon turning around.  Before I sent them off, I gave instruction about how a pregnant woman must eat enough for her AND the baby.  (She had only eaten plain bread that morning and a little tea.)


A happy couple

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Initiation and Orientation

Hello from Mis Whitney Smith, reporting live for GTH News! :) Or at least attempting to! (Disclaimer: I've never written a blog post before, so any mistakes can be credited to the fact that I never learned how to professionally blog in school ;P ;)
Lord-willing this will be home for at least the next six months, as I'll be here primarily to help out in the pharmacy, as well as assist wherever there's a need that I can fill in the clinic, like taking lots of blood pressures and temperatures, and helping with after hour calls, etc.
So yes, we met up with Steve in Port the morning of July 25th. After several sundry stops, a delicious Haitian meal of rice and beans, several cat naps snuck in during traffic jams and a scenic drive up the mountain, we were grateful to finally reach our destination here at the mission compound shortly after dark that evening.
It's really hard for me to believe it's been less than two weeks since we landed in Haiti! It's strange because so much has happened, and yet it feels in a way like time has just stopped here. Not in a bad way, don't get me wrong! :) But the pace is much slower-going here than I had been used to back home in Nebraska! Just one of those disorienting time-warps. :)
So far I am enjoying the challenge of learning the ropes in the pharmacy. It looked a bit daunting at first, trying to mentally sort out and understand what all was happening, and though I yet have plenty more to learn, each day gets better! I've been very grateful for Madam Leche and Zita's patience with me, as they try to teach me, and I try to learn. :) Our communication is still pretty limited, but I've been quite grateful for the small amount of Creole that I had learned before I came, especially numbers! That's helped a lot, cause when you're dealing with pills, numbers are rather important!
Communication is something that I'm really excited about improving. It's been hard to feel the disconnection of simply not being able to speak the language here! I'm eager to be able to start connecting more personally with individuals, to get into their lives more and encourage them to Christ! I've been asking the Lord to give me a real heart of love and compassion for the people, and that I would allow Him to work freely through me. A lot of the physical conditions you see and smell simply aren't pleasant, and my natural tendency is to want to push away in my heart. I keep thinking though about how welcoming and loving Jesus would be, regardless of how filthy and diseased a person may be. I want to let myself be poured out in faithful service to Him right where He has me, without reservation, and to act out of a love for HIM and what He has done for me!
May you all have an uplifting day, wherever and however you're serving the Lord!


 
 Counting and bagging up pills...
 
Rationing out Vitamin C syrup...

Rolling rocks with a sweet little girl...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Need I say more?

After the birth Monday night, there were 2 more babies born at the clinic this week as well as one born just a few hundred yards from the clinic.  

Baby born Monday night/Tuesday morning

 Nurses who attended the birth

 Baby born Wednesday afternoon

 Baby born Thursday afternoon

 Baby born just down the road from the clinic Thursday evening
This little angel was in too much of a hurry!  

They still came to the clinic where the placenta was delivered and baby cleaned up and dressed!

And just as a note: There is a pregnant lady at the clinic again now.  Last I checked her she wasn't in active labor, but we'll see what the night holds!  



A New Perspective

Hi, my name is Andrea. I'm a Student Nurse from Cheyenne Wyoming, I've come to help out for two weeks in anyway that I can and to get experience working in a foreign country. In the past six days since I have been here I have seen and done so much and I never imagined that I could love strangers as much as I have come to love these people. From removing stitches to participating in a birth, I love what I do and what I am learning in the medical field. To be able to bring medical help to people that appreciate anything that you can give them without the concern of law suites and paperwork is a perspective that you don't often get, practicing in the states.

Stitches...


Redressing the cut that I removed the stitches from just a couple of days ago. This little boy comes every day to to get his cut redressed. He has the cutest smile that I fell in love with the first time I saw him.Working with him has been a wonderful experience.

Babies...


 This beautiful baby boy was born around 1:00am and weighed 7lbs 12oz. To be able to be there for his birth was another amazing experience that I will never forget, although being up till 2:00 in the morning is something that I could do without.:-)


 Interesting...


 Often times you never know what will come through this clinic and sometime even once it's come through, you still don't know what it is! Here Katie is cleaning an unknown skin disease that has slowly but surely improved over the past several months. I am amazed at the diversity of cases that come through this clinic and how they are handled by the nurses here.